Personal Narrative: Growing Up As A Woman

Great Essays
My sheltered childhood, unbeknownst to me, gave me a worldview that may not accurately depict the state of the world around me. In Brooten, Minnesota, the small town I called home for eighteen years, life was simple. My high school of 350 students gave me close connections with peers and teachers, while my small community of 3,000 residents offered a welcome familiarity. Everyone knew everyone, and although this could be troublesome, that was just the way I liked it. My big, yellow house in the hills provided refuge, and within its quiet walls, I could forget all my worries. Around these assured characteristics of home, I built my life. With a seemingly perfect childhood like mine, one could easily grow up without noticing the systematic imbalances …show more content…
My mother always made clear the struggles that women face. Growing up as a hippie in the seventies, her example guaranteed that women’s issues like the wage gap, sexual violence, and equal opportunity would always be at the forefront of my personal agenda. Most of all, she instilled in me the danger of being a woman in a society where women are constantly sexualized. In The Caged Virgin, Ali writes that “sexual morality is aimed exclusively at women, who are always blamed for any lapse” (13). When women are sexually harassed, assaulted, or abused, the people around them should be disgusted and fight for the justice of the woman offended. Instead, girls are raised in a society that makes them feel they are to blame. Women are told it is their job to prevent the unwanted advances of men. We are fed lessons of precaution and self-preservation, but how long must we fight before the world stops placing blame on the …show more content…
She speaks specifically about the struggles for girls growing up in traditional Islamic households, primarily in the Middle East. Many grow up without a full education, being confined to the home as soon as they begin menstruating. Girls are kept inside, for if let loose, men will not be able to control their lust and sexually attack them. Many Westerner’s would believe this to be a crime committed by the man, but “most Muslim families regard violence against women as something that women themselves provoke” (Ali 19). In these countries, a woman’s worth is reduced to her hymen. Virginity is so sacred that girls’ genitals are mutilated without their consent to ensure their purity. I had heard these facts before, but I hated thinking about them. How could these horrific ordeals be happening in today’s society? By reading The Caged Virgin, I was once again forced to dig deeper into my beliefs. If I have always felt so passionately for women’s equality, how come I never considered the lives of girls everywhere? The crimes being made against girls around the world are human right’s violations that must be stopped. Of course, moral and cultural relativism complicate things, but don’t girls around the world deserve to grow up in a safe environment that does not treat them like sexual objects to be auctioned off to the

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